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The Unseen

Echoes from the Past, Book 5
Narrated by: Wendy Wolfson
Series: Echoes from the Past, Book 5
Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2014. When skeletal remains are discovered in a bathtub concealed in a secret chamber in a London mansion, Quinn’s only clue is a Fabergé necklace that may have belonged to the victim. As she delves into the life of Valentina, a young Russian refugee who came to live in the house after the Russian Revolution, she’s reminded once again that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. 

1917. Wealthy, beautiful, and titled, Valentina has enjoyed a gilded existence, but the winds of change blow across Russia, forever sweeping away the life she knew and bringing unspeakable pain and loss. Thrust into the role of head of the family, Valentina quickly learns that not everyone can be trusted, and sometimes true love can be found in the most unexpected places.

©2018 Irina Shapiro (P)2019 Irina Shapiro

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The Unseen by Irina Shapiro

Emotional and full of bitter sweet memories. The history was superb and the amazing ability of Quinn is wonderful. To where Irina gets her story from I'm not sure but what I'm sure of is this is definitely one of a kind and really remarkable.

The narration by Wendy Wolfson was also great. Her male character narration was really good. I love the total package of everything in this novel!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Another Hit!

In 2014 Quinn is settling into a routine, trying to juggle her work as an archeologist, being a mother two two children, one of whom is a newborn, being a wife, having a social life, and still using the past to investigate murders from long ago. When she's brought to a London flat, she finds it frozen in the Edwardian ages, but that's not the strangest part. There's a skeleton in a clawfoot tub, hidden behind a secret door. Now Quinn is left to use her special talents to find out who the person was, how they died, and who killed them.

In 1917 aristocratic young lady Valentina narrowly escaped Russia with her life, as being well-born was a death sentence in the Revolution. She makes it to London with her mother and younger siblings without the wealth and prestige she once enjoyed. When a relative named Dmitry offers his help, Valentina's family accepts without considering the secret cost. Who was once to be their savior soon becomes Valentina's worst nightmare as the family fights for survival in a new land.

Armed with a Fabergè egg necklace, Quinn dives into the past to solve the mystery of the body left to rot in a London flat for a hundred years. But that's not the one on her mind. The whereabouts of her long lost twin still haunt her and she's left to wonder who she will find first, the killer or her sister.

I really identified with Quinn in this book as she tried to find a balance in life with a new baby. It's nice to see a normal character who doesn't immediately fall into the role of picture perfect mom who has it all without a care. She puts in the work, as all parents do, and it was lovely to see her overcome different challenges. Although most challenges she's faced so far like a plot to murder her, the reveal of her birth family, and the fact she can see through time are some many people will ever go through.

Valentina's story was an interesting one. When we think about the Russian Revolution, we usually think about the lost princess Anastasia and the rest of the Romanov family or the wild death of Rasputin. We don't see much about the aristocrats that managed to hop trains, flee their homes on horseback, or buy their way to a different land, dressed as a peasant. Her struggle to grieve the loss of her former life and her father and fiancé while trying to keep her remaining family afloat was something I can assume many faced when in a supposed safe place. From page one, I worried what would happen to poor Valentina. 

Shapiro did a fantastic job weaving in Russian history and facts into a thrilling drama of betrayal and loss. I suppose that shouldn't be surprising since Shapiro herself was born in Moscow. Still, many authors forgo historical facts to focus more on just the story. She does neither, perfectly pairing the past and present to create a book that doesn't sacrifice a thing.

I don't think there will ever be enough praise for this series, which is perfect for lovers of women's fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, time travel, romance, or just plain good books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Quite unseen indeed

By reading all the Echoes of the Past series so far... this one was truly unseen indeed. Quite a turn of events but trule enjoyable.
The author outdid herself with the story. I shed quite a few tears on behalf of the characters.
once again it was extremely well narrated.

Thanks for all the research that goes into these books... I enjoyed the history lessons immensely

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The Unseen

Irina Shapiro is a wonderful storyteller! I love the way she wrote this series. Each book has a view into the past through the archeologist,Dr. Quinn Allenby’s special gift. This book is about a young aristocrat, Valentina, who left Russia during the 1917 revolution with her mother, sister, and brother to live in England. Valentina’s story is heart wrenching as she assumes responsibility for her family’s survival.

The narration by Wendy Wolfson was perfect!

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Another fascinating tale from the past

Irina Shapiro has enthralled me with the Echoes from the Past series along with the Wendy Wolfson narrator who tells the story.
Quinn Allenby and her unique abilities to read someone’s past from an object is fascinating, each draws you in and takes you into there life, there joys, sorrows, and the tragedy or misfortune the caused Quinn to be called into the circumstance to begin with.
I also enjoy hearing about Quinn’s life while she is trying to solve a case you see the joys and the sorrows she experiences.
I was given this audible book for a fair and honest review by the author thank you.

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Wow!

This story was absolutely riveting as I listened along…totally engrossed in both the present-day mystery involving Quinn as well as the 1917 mystery of exactly whose bones were found in the hidden bathtub and how and why that person met his untimely end. Ms. Shapiro’s “Echoes From the Past Series” is a great collection of stories that will intrigue those who love romantic mystery stories. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Another FIVE star read

Irina! Such a great series. Leaves me anxiously waiting for the next one. Thanks for the enjoyment I get from your books

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  • Nisareen Khan
  • 07-16-19

Compelling fifth instalment

1917: On the eve of the Russian Revolution, newly engaged, seventeen year old Valentina Kalinina has no idea how drastically her life is about to change. Having come from a privileged and sheltered background, she is unprepared when revolution breaks out, bringing unspeakable pain and loss. Her country now in turmoil, Valentina and her family seek refuge in England, in the hopes of a new life. Thrust into the role of head of the family, Valentina must contend with lies and deceit, betrayal, sacrifice that will end ultimately murder.

2014: When skeletal remains are discovered in a bathtub, concealed in a hidden chamber of a London mansion, Quinn’s only clue is is Fabergé necklace that may have belonged to the victim. As she tries to piece together Valentina’s life, Quinn must juggle her job, motherhood, her search for her twin sister as well as her relationship with her estranged mother.

The Unseen is the fifth compelling instalment of the Echoes of the Past series and is a dual time novel set in 1917 and 2014. This time the author transports us back to the eve of the Russian Revolution. We’re given a brief insight into the chaos and violence following the storming of the Winter Palace by the Bolsheviks who ousted the provisional government and proclaimed Russia to be the first communist state.

Due to their wealth and prestige, which had now become a death sentence, Valentina is forced to flee to England where they must rely on the hospitality of a friend of their mothers, Dimitri Ostrov. And so begins the defining chapter in Valentina’s life that will see her try to put her grief aside for the life she has left behind, in place of the hardship she experiences as she tries to adapt to her new life a foreign land. Some of the things that Valentina had to endure was extremely hard to read and yet despite it all I couldn’t help but admire her quiet strength and self sacrifice.

It was great catching up with Quinn as she juggled motherhood as well as her job. It was good to see Gabe being so supportive as a husband and father. We finally learn the truth about Sylvia and the night Quinn was conceived as well as answers on the whereabouts of her twin sister, Jo.

This has been another well executed thoroughly entertaining novel, magnificently threaded and building to a climax that is neat and satisfying.

I received an advanced free audible copy of The Unseen and I am voluntarily reviewing it. Wendy Wolfson has once again masterfully brought the characters and story to life with her clear, concise narration. I recommend this series for fans of historical fiction, dual time mysteries and psychic gifts.

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  • Toni swoffer
  • 07-12-19

Amazing

awesome wonderful it was written awesome the characters I loved every minute of it. The story was page turning couldn’t put it down until the end can’t wait till book 6 so if you are looking for a mystery with some romance this is the book for you

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  • Gyrithe
  • 05-15-19

to go back in time

Irina is so well prepaired and correct in her historic books. that it is a joy to listen. it takes me back in time. you feel the dilemma and the heartache in her books, when She spinns the tale of a time in history, it is like you are there.
it is you Running from a russia in caos and revolution. it is you fighting for your family. And the narration is so well performed that it gives you that extra something to feel what happens.
I love the mix in this series, where we follow our psykic in present day and a new history in a every book.
I need more books like this.

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  • Jan M
  • 04-08-19

Past and Present

The Unseen by Irina Shapiro is probably my favorite book by the the author that I have listened to so far. I love this past/present story-line. 1917 Russian Revolution has intrigued me with the stories of Anastasia. Granted this book has nothing to do with Anastasia other than the time period. I was immediately pulled into Quinn's search for her sister, the walled off bathroom with the body in the tub, and the characters from the past. It's brilliant how the author weaves things together. The imagery is this book is well done, along with the details. I loved how the author included the suffragettes into this book, and how women's rights were so limited around 1920 in London. Wendy Wolfson's performance was spectacular. She has distinguishable voices for the various characters, and I loved her Russian accents. Echoes from the Past series are all standalone books, but one really gets the full effect listening to each individual book. I highly recommend both this book and the series. I cannot wait for the next one.

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  • Darcie
  • 04-06-19

This series just keeps getting better!

I can’t say enough how much I love and enjoy this series! The historical part is fascinating and I’m ever thankful that I was born in the late 20th century. I’m no feminist, but the injustices of centuries ago make my blood boil. In this story, archeologist, Dr. Quinn Allenby, is investigating the discovery of a skeleton in a hidden bathroom. What she sees, through the use of an inherited faberge egg necklace, is the story of a young Russian woman, who was the daughter of a Count. The time is during WW1, when civil unrest between the ‘working ppl’ and the Russian monarchy turned deadly. Young Valentina is engaged to her childhood friend and love of her life, Alexie, but the planned celebration never comes to pass. When rebels break into their house, her father is killed, as well as Alexie, who came to their aid. Valentina, her mother, sister and brother travel to London, in search of her mother’s cousin. After several months of no response, and the small family barely surviving in a hovel, cousin Demetri arrives. Surely life will be better for Valentina and her family...it does...for a while...then Valentina’s life is shattered! No spoilers but I must say that it’s gut wrenching! Meanwhile, Quinn is searching for her twin sister, while adjusting to motherhood with a kindergartner and a baby.
This is another fantastic book in the series...each one is better than the last! The narrator is perfect for this series and does a fabulous job with all of the characters. Truly another ‘unputdownable’ book.
I accepted a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.